How To (Safely) Clean Mirrors Using Bleach

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One effective way of removing the streaks and stains on your bathroom or hallway mirrors is to use bleach. But like many others, you might also be skeptical about using bleach on glass, and understandably so. After all, it might do more harm than good. 

To safely clean mirrors using bleach, pour some bleach on a dry cloth to wipe the mirror. Once done, wipe off the bleach using another clean cloth. Don’t leave the bleach on for too long, and take appropriate precautions like opening a window or turning on fans to avoid breathing too much in.

So can you safely use bleach on glass, or will it damage it? If you’re not comfortable using bleach, are there any other alternatives? Or if you decide to go ahead and clean your mirrors using bleach, what safety tips should you keep in mind? Let’s take a look. 

Will Bleach Damage Glass?

Beautiful young smiling woman in yellow gloves with detergent spray in her hand wiping mirror glass with a rag

There’s a lot of confusion about using bleach on glass. Some say it can etch the glass surface and make it more susceptible to breakage, while others swear by its effectiveness. 

The fact is that bleach can damage some kinds of glass, like coated glass, but you can use it on clear glass. So the answer to this question comes down to the kind of glass and how it’s used. For instance, you don’t have anything to worry about if you’re cleaning a shower door.

But it’s also important to mention that bleach can damage glass if left on it for a long time. So ensure you wipe the bleach with a clean cloth right after applying it.

Can Bleach React with Glass?

Glass doesn’t react with bleach; since it’s non-porous, it also doesn’t absorb it. However, you still need to be careful when using bleach on glass since it can lead to damage if used properly.

Always add water to the bleach to dilute it before using it on glass, and don’t let it sit for too long. After you’re done, don’t forget to clean the glass with water.

And if you’re not sure if bleach will damage your glass, do a spot test before applying it to the whole surface.

How to Clean Mirrors with Bleach

In addition to brightening clothes, you can also use bleach to clean mirrors. All you have to do is:

  1. Take a dry and clean cloth and pour some bleach on it.
  1. Next, wipe the mirror with this cloth.
  1. Then take another clean cloth and wipe off the bleach.

What are Some Alternatives to Bleach?

If you’re uncomfortable using bleach, you can try several other alternatives. 

Rubbing Alcohol

There might be all sorts of stains on your mirror, ranging from stray toothpaste to makeup smudges. And before you go ahead and clean your mirror, you should first remove these stains. Otherwise, they will only end up smearing and spreading. 

One way to get rid of those is by using rubbing alcohol.

  1. Take a soft cloth, cotton pad, or cotton ball, and add a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol. Make sure you use something soft, or you’ll have scratches on your mirror. 
  1. Now gently dab at the stains until they disappear. Make sure not to scrub. Otherwise, it’ll make things worse. 

Vinegar and Water 

Once you get rid of the gunk, you can focus on the smears on your mirror, and for that, you can make a spray of equal parts of water and vinegar in an empty spray bottle.

  1. Shake the mixture and spray it on your mirror. Only spray a little bit; otherwise, you’ll make a mess.
  1. Then use a dry and clean microfiber cloth to wipe the mirror.

When using vinegar, leaving a door or window open is better to allow some ventilation since white vinegar tends to smell.  Sometimes, just water is enough to do the trick.

Dish Soap

Another alternative to bleach is dish soap. Apply a drop of it on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the mirror using a side-to-side motion. At first, your mirror will look smeary, and it’ll take some time to buff in, but it’ll work.  

Safety Tips to Keep in Mind 

Young beautiful female wearing protective face mask and cleaning mirror in bathroom

Bleach can be harmful to your skin and eyes. To keep yourself (and your belongings) protected, make sure you use the following precautions:

  • Don’t mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. 
  • Wear eye protection, rubber boots (or other non-porous boots), and gloves. 
  • Avoid breathing in bleach fumes. When using bleach indoors, open the doors and windows to let fresh air in.
  • Wear old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Cover your rug and furniture before cleaning. 

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